As the World Turns Green
A recent seminar on green initiatives had some distributors and suppliers in the audience seeing red—and others, gray. The occasion was Indianapolis-based IBSA’s 2008 Conference, held July 21-23 at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis. While industry professionals certainly support the sourcing of fiber from well-managed forests, they are less than thrilled with the thousands of dollars associated with obtaining chain-of-custody (CoC) certification. Some wondered where the money was, in fact, ending up. Others complained end-users—the group driving certification in the first place—will frequently opt for non-certified stock after realizing it can increase costs. Still, others pointed out that projects printed on CoC-certified stock can ultimately be very eco-unfriendly, and that going green goes far beyond specifying stock.
Print Professional invited experts in printing, paper manufacturing and sustainability to offer their insights.
Cost of Doing Business
EMA Specialty Envelopes & More, Austell, Ga., recently obtained both FSI and SFC certification. Company President Aaron Hyte admitted doing so was a “royal pain,” but given the choice between biting the bullet and getting it done or watching a significant portion of his business bite the dust, he made the logical choice.
“Two of our major customers—among the top five [distributors] in the forms industry—told us if we didn’t go forward with FSC and SFI certification, we would no longer be able to [produce] certain orders, since their end-users were demanding [CoC-certified] products,” he recounted. “Industry wide, 2008 has been one of the worst years in the associated envelope, paper, printing and forms business in the last decade. So, to have to go through the added cost has been difficult.”
Hyte estimated the five- to six-month certification process cost EMA more than $5,500. Opting for simultaneous dual certification helped to reduce costs. “Still, it’s like [the cost was] twice as much because of how poor the year has been,” he added.